Film Response 2: The Red and the White

The Red and the White (1967) is a film directed by Miklós Jancsó that was meant to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the October Revolution but this film decided to take a different approach. Instead of a hagiographic account that would glorify the triumph of Communism, the director chose to present a film that had no protagonist, no side, and no victory. Both sides are shown as brutal and the true nature of the Russian Civil War and all wars like it were exposed.

Jancsó utilized an odd camera style in order to avoid any emotional connection an audience member could have with any of the characters presented. These techniques include wide angle shots created via an anamorphic lens, panning shots, and off screen shots. The camera never focuses on one character’s face, only the character’s actions. A face is the most relatable quality of a character; it can show the subtlest of emotions and produce the humblest of moments. For the sake of the movie, that was to be avoided.

Overall, this movie isn’t meant to be a story with a plot, a hero, or a winner. It is simply a political exclamation with a self-reflective message about war.

Work Cited

Strausz, L.. ”THE POLITICS OF STYLE IN MIKLÓS JANCSÓ’S THE RED AND THE WHITE AND THE LORD’S LANTERN IN BUDAPEST. ” Film Quarterly 62.3 (2009): 41-47. Research Library, ProQuest. Web.  5 Mar. 2011.

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